Somali pirates killed, Captain freed - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Somali pirates killed, Captain freed

Richard Phillips (r) with Commander Frank Castellano (l) Richard Phillips (r) with Commander Frank Castellano (l)

Posted by Rachel Leigh email

WASHINGTON (AP) - Adm. William Gortney says it took only three shots for Navy snipers to kill three pirates holding captain Richard Phillips hostage on a lifeboat drifting in the high sea.

Interviewed Monday morning on NBC's "Today" show from Bahrain, Gortney said the take-down happened shortly after the hostage-takers were observed by sailors aboard the USS Bainbridge "with their heads and shoulders exposed."

Asked how the snipers could have killed each pirate with a single shot in the darkness, Gortney described them as "extremely, extremely well-trained." He said the firing by the snipers was ordered by the captain of the Bainbridge after the pirates "exposed themselves" to attack.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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